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March 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Activist investor Carl Icahn is apparently tossinging in the towel in his longtime battle to restore Blockbuster as a force in the entertainment industry. According to an SEC filing, Icahn, the company’s largest shareholder, has sold more than 13 million shares of the Dallas-based video rental chain for pennies on the dollar. In 2005 he succeeded in getting himself and two allies elected to the Blockbuster board where they waged a successful battle to remove John Antioco as CEO. Icahn clearly intended to force the company to cut costs, halt expansion, and focus on building shareholder value. At the time, Blockbuster shares were worth more than $10.00 a share; they are now down to 25 cents, and reports indicated that Icahn sold one block of shares last week at 18 cents per share. Icahn and his affiliates continue to retain about 13 million Blockbuster shares.